I make no secret of my support for Donald Trump. Have a look at the alternative. Politicians everywhere in the West who have sold out their ordinary citizens with ruinous multiculturalism, and the infection of Islam; who have chased votes by dispensing money as though it were confetti; who have penalised workers and the poor by buying into global warming hysteria; who have entered into trade deals careless of the consequences for many workers and their communities; and who, time and time again, have been shown to be personally corrupt.
And, to add to this litany of betrayals, they have orchestrated a reckless and potentially suicidal run-down of military readiness. As the erudite Melanie Phillips (March 16)[i] succinctly puts it: “Iran and North Korea are now out of their box, China is on the march and Russia is out of control. And the person left holding the parcel as the music stops is Donald J. Trump.”
Trump is a breath of fresh air with policies unashamedly directed towards improving the economic security and safety of ordinary people: lowering taxes, eliminating regulations, protecting borders, reducing low-skilled migration, renegotiating trade deals putting his country first and, vitally, rebuilding the military. All of these policies appeal to me. How is he doing? Pretty well, but?
Why the ‘but’? He blinked. I think it is fair to say that he was cowed into signing a giant $1.3 trillion spending bill. Now I am prone to making the odd excuse or two for those I support. In this case, Trump was put in an invidious predicament by Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan and the rest of the many RINOs in the US Congress. They encased the desperately needed increased military spending inside an omnibus bill. They gave Trump no option, or did they?
There I go again with a caveat. Trump surely knew that the progressive, national self-loathing, open borders Democrats would not agree to increased military spending without domestic pork. He surely knew that the pusillanimous Republicans in Congress would cave. He could have stood firmer.
He could have insisted on a standalone military spending bill, by making it clear he would veto any omnibus bill which included military spending. You have to pick your battles. He had the perfect battle cry. “Are you going to put our military in harm’s way by arming them with deteriorating and outdated equipment? Are you going to put our country’s security at risk in the face of threats from Russia, China, Iran and North Korea?”
With a standalone military bill, his other priorities, including funding for the wall, could have been negotiated against the domestic pork that Democrats love. As it is he gained only a miniscule down payment for the wall while, for example, Planned Parenthood — the abortion factory, seller of baby parts, and Democrat cheerleader and sponsor — is fully funded, as are so-called sanctuary cities.
He has given away powerful leverage and got too little. That doesn’t seem like the art of striking a good deal to me. On the other hand, maybe we, of patriotic and conservative bent, expect too much from one man. Putting all of our hopes on his aging shoulders.
Recall Paul Newman in the 1967 movie Cool Hand Luke, burdened with all of the desperate hopes of his fellow prisoners: “Oh come on. Stop beatin’ it. Get out there yourself. Stop feedin’ off me. Get out of here. I can’t breathe. Give me some air.”
Trump is under siege. He is battered each day by media hacks and by RINOs like John McCain, Bob Corker and Jeff Flake — the top twenty-five RINOs are listed by ‘conservative review.com’, for those interested. He is under a trumped-up investigation by Mueller’s star chamber of Democrat lawyers. Impeachment is a constant, if mindless, refrain. Leakers in the Deep State are ever vigilant for a misplaced word. Women of questionable reputation from past dalliances are after him for publicity and loot. His elegant wife is attacked and ridiculed whatever she does. Even his children are targeted. It must be enormously wearying. However strong you are, as Luke discovers at the hands of the prison warden, you can be beaten down.
Trump is resilient and cool under pressure but, like Luke, he is human not a superhero. So, I’m going to give him a pass and put the blame squarely on Ryan, McConnell and the RINOs. At the same time, Trump’s blink can’t turn into a habit. That way we would have just another politician.
In my view, Trump is carrying the leadership torch for Western Civilisation. No-one else is remotely in sight. Those who understand this need at least to lend a hand and, as Luke pleaded, get out there themselves.